Sunday, March 25, 2007

Open Up And Blog

If you're interested in the Stooges you could do much worse than check out the just-published Ig-biog "Open Up And Bleed" by Mojo writer Paul Trynka. This is probably the ultimate Stoogebook, if extracts are any indication. Try this from the Observer for size:

The opening night at Max's Kansas City in New York was packed, with old friends like Lenny Kaye, Alice Cooper and rock writer Lisa Robinson in attendance, and a huge queue outside the club. There were problems with the PA, which meant Iggy's voice was swamped by the huge wall of sound generated by the rented guitar amplifiers, and James's guitar was occasionally out of tune, but the band was magnificent. Bob Czaykowski - Nite Bob - was hired for the Max's shows to look after the amplifier backline; his job was to get 'the clang': the ringing, physically brutal noise that would help beat the audience into submission.

In the confined space, the New York crowd was transfixed with both excitement and fear, for as Bebe Buell, the Ford Agency model and celebrated girlfriend of Todd Rundgren, points out, 'There was that element of danger, because everybody had heard about his antics on stage.' The second night, the club was again jammed, and as Iggy walked over the tables and chairs, glaring at the crowd, one chair either wobbled, or was pulled from under him; he slipped and fell onto a table top full of glasses, which shattered under his weight. As Iggy got up again, Nite Bob saw cuts on his chest and chin, and a puncture wound by one of his ribs; as Iggy staggered to the side and crashed into him, Bob noticed his own shirt was covered in blood and shouted, 'Let's pull it. Let's stop it, man. You can't do this!'

Iggy kept singing, the blood dripping down his chest. He discovered that if he pulled his left arm back, blood would spurt out in a continuous stream. 'It was horrible, like a Roman arena,' says Wayne County, Max's DJ who later became an unlikely punk star. Nite Bob recalls, 'We had this saying that a piece of Gaffa tape will fix anything, but he was bleeding so bad the tape wouldn't even stick.'

More here and we'll post a review at the I-94 Bar when a copy lands, but for now you can also while away lots of time checking out Paul's blog. He takes you behind the scenes with some intriguing snippets, plus pictures of the people and places he found on the research trail.

God knows we need a new Stooges/Pop bio after some of the crap that's been foisted on us as same. Ig's own outrageous elaborations are still available in his self-penned (ghosted) "I Need More". There's a snide Joe Ambrose bio tome that's obsessed with which team his Igness bats for, to the point of obsession, it has to be said. Then there's the fan-written "The Complete Iggy Pop" by Richard Adams, which is a commendable collection of record reviews probably best read by collector scum (very handy when sorting through the miles of multiple-titled bootlegs.) I did hear Per Nilsen is updating his twice published Pop book ("The Wild One: The True Story of Iggy Pop") so that's another to look forward to.

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